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The Government is actively pursuing an additional line of credit for provision to the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), to facilitate expansion in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Business Process Operation (BPO) sectors, which can yield significant employment.

This was announced by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, at the Kingston Rotary Club's weekly luncheon, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on November  15.

Dr. Phillips said the DBJ’s Board has indicated that the institution’s current US$20 million line of credit for ICT/BPO developments, “is likely to be exhausted in another two to three months, based on the current number of applications received and approved. He informed that based on the applications that have been considered and settled, “there is the certainty of approximately 4,000 (additional) jobs."

The Minister also advised of another application that is in the “final stages of consideration,” which will generate another 2,500 jobs, while pointing to the ICT/BPO sectors’ potential to provide employment for upwards of 20,000 persons.

“It is clear that there are tens of thousands of jobs that are available, and Jamaica has caught the attention, not only of the international community but of the local investor community, as a viable centre for the establishment of ICT/BPO operations,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips disclosed that construction of more than 1,500 hotel rooms is being “actively pursued” by a number of the international brands which have invested in Jamaica’s tourism industry. He pointed out that work has commenced on some, while others are at various stages of completion.

“I am not referring to any of the projects that are linked to the potential of casino gaming. I am talking about projects that are underway in relation to the expansion of the (number of hotel) rooms. We are on the cusp of a boom,” the Minister said.